Poster campaign to discourage from giving cash to Sheffield street drinkers

Devonshire Green in Sheffield
Devonshire Green in Sheffield
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Posters could be drawn up to discourage people from donating to street drinkers in the centre of Sheffield.

Police, councillors, business owners and key city centre figures gathered to discuss how to reverse the worsening trend of street drinkers taking ‘legal highs’, discarding heroin needles and defecating in public around Devonshire Green and Devonshire Street.

Devonshire Green in Sheffield

Devonshire Green in Sheffield

Peter Sephton, Sheffield City Centre residents’ action group chairman,said: “It was a positive meeting with all the agencies in attendance.

“One of the things put forward was drinkers are now gathering in groups.

“But the Archer Project and Ben’s Centre in the city centre both work with individuals, so there was a suggestion that the charities do something focusing on groups.

“Another was that ‘legal highs’ in combination with alcohol are causing people to be more aggressive than previously.

Devonshire Green in Sheffield

Devonshire Green in Sheffield

“The possibility of a poster campaign was discussed, to discourage people from giving to beggars on the street – you are just helping to kill them more quickly if you give them money.

“That might be combined with collection buckets for the two projects.

“There are a lot of experts doing their damndest to solve the problem and working very hard.”

It comes after The Star reported on Saturday how traders in the area called for action over the problem, claiming it was damaging trade.

Coun Jillian Creasy, Sheffield Council Green Party member for Central ward, said the key issues for her were the need for improvements to police response times and potential improvements to off-licence reviews.

She said: “There are a lot of issues that need bottoming out, but in terms of giving new licences, should there be tighter restrictions? And when there are reviews, should there be a more proactive approach to checking conditions?

“There’s a long way to go but there has been movement. I’m heartened people are trying to work together to resolve the issue.”